Blogger Xiaxue gets protection order

Blogger Xiaxue gets protection order
Popular local blogger Wendy Cheng, who goes by the name Xiaxue, is a victim of blog hacking. Her blog was hacked into and defaced in 2005.

SINGAPORE - She has arguably been one of the most regular "victims" of the infamous satire Facebook page, SMRT Ltd (Feedback).

But local blogger Xiaxue has had enough, after being harassed "since 2012".

She filed for a Protection Order, which was granted on Thursday, despite the unusual circumstances of her harassment by a Facebook page run by anonymous people.

The blogger, whose real name is Wendy Cheng, 30, revealed in a blog post yesterday the circumstances under which the order was given.

She said that "SMRT Ltd (Feedback) was served (notice of the application for the court order) via e-mail and Facebook private message" at about 12pm on Jan 29.

Xiaxue told The New Paper that a hearing was held on Thursday after she filed the Originating Summons - which defines what protection she wants and from whom - along with an affidavit to the court.

She added that the person or people behind SMRT Ltd (Feedback) did not turn up for the hearing.

So the court heard Xiaxue's side of the story and granted the Protection Order to her and her family.

The order, which she put up on her blog, prohibits the site from making "insulting or abusive communication" against her, husband Michael Marquet Sayre and son Dashiel.

The court order also instructs the site to take down any offending published material. Disobeying the order may result in a maximum fine of $5,000, up to six months in jail, or both.

In a Facebook post last night, the people behind SMRT Ltd (Feedback) were as flippant as ever: "We have stopped making insulting remarks against Xiaxue, or anyone else since last year and have no interest in contesting the Protection Order because Xiaxue rightfully needs it for protection against people who are out to stalk or cause harm.

"However, the court did not say that we cannot do anything that can be constituted as fair comment."

The post included a picture of someone with a finger in their nose.

The new Protection from Harassment Act 2014, which came into force in November last year, gives victims like Xiaxue more teeth to tackle situations like hers - where the identity of the alleged harassing party is concealed.

Unlike any other Act, this recent implementation protects victims from harassment in both the physical and online spheres.

VALID MODES OF SERVING COURT PAPERS

A lawyer, who declined to be named, said in this instance, the accused would have been "informed that they are the named respondents in the case and told to turn up in court for the hearing".

In her blog, Xiaxue said SMRT Ltd (Feedback) was notified on Jan 29 at 12.38pm via an e-mail Facebook message on the details of the Protection Order.

A Facebook feature revealed that the message was seen at 1.27pm.

A lawyer confirmed that "Facebook and e-mail are now deemed valid modes of serving court papers connected with a harassment act application on respondents".

The Facebook page has not posted any defamatory updates about the blogger since the Protection Order was served.

But Xiaxue was spooked by an incident in her carpark.

On Thursday, she said she returned home at 10.30pm and saw a middle-aged man holding a camera hiding between two cars under her block who appeared to be taking pictures of her.

She has taken precautionary measures.

"I have been carrying a Defender... Basically it's a really bright torchlight that would shock someone if it's shone right in their face."


This article was first published on February 07, 2015.
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